Being enormous fans of Italian films and TV-series, my wife and I were instantly hooked to "The Miracle" as per the opening sequences of the first episode. It's the perfect combination of everything: the amazingly beautiful theme song ("Il Mondo" by Jimmy Fontana), the curiously captivating premise of the Madonna statue that cries copious gallons of blood, the convoluted characters (including a struggling Italian prime minister, his estranged wife and a rather unusual priest), the stellar performances of the entire cast, the slow-brooding but ominous atmosphere and the patient but excessively stylish direction.
The series follows a certain pattern as the episodes pass by, with the events leading up to the discovery of the statue at the beginning of each installment, and several parallel storylines unfolding throughout the series. Prime minister Pietromarchi desperately attempts to keep the blood-crying Madonna out of the media while politically battling to keep his country within the European Union. How contemporary accurate and relevant, by the way! His cynical and unhappy wife Sole detests the angelic Polish nanny whom her children respect more than her. Forensic expert Sandra Roversi starts an obsessive search for the person whose DNA matches with the blood of the Madonna. Father Marcello acknowledges the miracle of the crying Madonna and considers it to be a hopeful sign for the decaying world, but he can't conquer his own inner demons.
When reaching episode six or seven, of a total of eight, you'll realize that "The Miracle" definitely won't be revealing all its secrets. Quite the contrary, there are so many unanswered questions bouncing back and forth in my brain! I won't raise them here to avoid spoilers, but I can only hope that a second season will be released soon. Still, in spite of all the loose ends and a few shortcomings here and there, "The Miracle" is one of the most addictive and hypnotizing European series of the decade.